Welcome to my first edition of Random Musings! Now you might be asking yourself, what is a random musing and why is he writing this? Well, I am always in my head thinking non-stop about random things. They just pop in at odd times and I either sit around thinking about it or I pace around a room talking to myself. Yes, I talk to myself.. I am quite the good conversationalist. Anyway, because of that I thought it would be good to start up an editorial about those thoughts, if you will, those random musings. I don’t know if this will be a weekly editorial or just something I post from time to time, but I do have a lot of ideas.
This Random musing is title “The Strongest Ever Getting Stronger.” You might be asking yourself, what does that mean? It is when manga authors don’t take into account what happens when they reach the strongest level, because there always has to be another level until the series ends. Take Dragonball Z for example: When Goku reached Super Sayian level it was beyond bad, it was quite awesome. It is one of those moments, albeit ruined by bad filler, that just makes your hair stand on end and you tingle with excitement. It was one of those moments where someone in a series achieved something that was only of legends. Then enter 1 year later or 3 if you take into account the hyperbolic mystery chamber. All of a sudden everyone is Super Sayian, now it is more of a fad than a legend. To top it off, Gohan busts out Super Sayian level 2 and lays a hardcore smack down on Cell. At the time, I was more excited than puzzled, but now when I look back I think, “Wait a second, wasn’t Super Sayain the ultimate form of the Sayains?” That is a prime example of how manga creators tend to not think ahead.
Now I am not saying shounen authors need to think 10 years ahead to create a good manga, but what I am saying is stop bidding things as the ultimate level or the ultimate attack, when 20 chapters later they have something better. They need to leave the world more open and allow for a more natural evolution. Take Naruto for example, we were introduced to strong characters and the main characters were put into place by them. It took several years before the main characters could stand up to the most powerful of the characters. For instance the Naruto x Pain fight: After that fight no one can argue that Naruto is on the Hokage level, however, there are still things for him to master and enemies to face. Masashi Kishimoto created a great world and never unleashed an Ultimate anything without there being some negative to it. By doing that there is always room for improvement and we aren’t stuck with some half assed excuse to why there is a new ultimate something or another.
Bleach, the worst case scenario. If you don’t know me, well here is a small tidbit of information for you. I HATE BLEACH! Don’t get me wrong, when Bleach first started airing I was one of those that tuned in every week the minute it came out via fansub. I loved it, at first. I could go into everything I hate about it, but not now. For now I shall talk about how Tite Kubo did not take into account the next level at all. From early on he challenged and defeated the Captains of Soul Society, which was awesome. He even unlocked his Ban Kai, the best attack Captains can unlock. Then we find out Aizen is bad and they go off to become stronger, by holofying themselves. Ok, I buy that. By combining hollow powers with their own naturally they get stronger. My problem is when the Espada, which Ichigo had to become a hollow to defeat number 6, gets defeated by the captains without any hollowization.. Wait a sec? Weren’t these the same guys Ichgo defeated earlier? Then they add excuses like “oh, they might have had Ban Kai, but they don’t know how to use it well.” And, “the Shinigami were holding back that is the only reason they were having trouble with the Espada at first.” That all falls under the same issue of the manga author not establishing some kind of power limit and allowing their main character to level up in a more reasonable manner.
My ultimate point is shounen series need limits not excuses. When a shounen series knows how to deliver a character who can remain badass without becoming the strongest ever every time a new enemy shows up that is when it truly becomes a great series. One reason I love One Piece the way I do is because bad guys are situationally strong. Meaning, Luffy won’t always face an enemy that is stronger than him, sometimes he fights characters like Wapol, were it is more of a comedic fight than one that takes all of his energy, or characters like Enel, where he is litterally one of the strongest characters ever, except for the small fact that Luffy is rubber, which effectively cockblocks Enel’s power.